o a regular onlooker, the cocktail party that will take place next week at the Suzanne Dellal Center might look like a pleasant social gathering. With their wine glasses in hand and name tags on their chests, the attendees will exchange small talk, listen to a few welcoming speeches and perhaps enjoy a bit of music. However, for local choreographers, the event is perhaps the most crucial meeting on their annual calendar.

The cocktail party is part of the yearly International Exposure Festival, which will begin on Wednesday night. Now in its 19th year, the festival is more vital to the community of dance makers than ever before. The guests who will fill the large white tent represent the most influential producers, curators and dance presenters in the world.

In the coming days, they will all come to Israel from their respective countries with one goal in mind – to select which creations they want to invite to their theaters.

Today, touring abroad is an essential part of a choreographer’s activities. With the limited number of theaters in Israel and the growing demand for Israeli creations abroad, traveling has become part and parcel of making dance. The International Exposure has created a platform for many choreographers – ranging from the most established to the newest voices – to be invited abroad. These engagements take place year round around the globe, from Taiwan and Toronto to Rio de Janeiro.

This year, the festival’s program is particularly jam-packed. Over a fiveday period, the esteemed guests of the Suzanne Dellal Center will be escorted from one theater to another and will have the opportunity to see dozens of performances. A day of shows begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at about 11 p.m. For the first time this year, performances will take place at a theater outside of the center. The newly renovated Mahsan 2 in the Jaffa Port will host about one-quarter of the shows.

For the guests, International Exposure is an important weekend for business. For everyone else, it is a chance to see all the performances that emerged in the past year.

On Wednesday night, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack will open the festival with the world premiere of their new creation, Dust. The piece bears all the signs of the duo’s handiwork, such as meticulous movement and breathtaking costumes.

On Thursday, the day will begin with Curtain 1, featuring works by Idan Sharabi, Nadar Rosano and Michael Getman from the recent Curtain Up Festival.

Over the course of the day, Dafi Eltabeb, Ronit Ziv, Ella Ben-Aharon and Edo Ceder and Idan Cohen will present their newest works at Mahsan 2. In the evening, Yossi Berg and Oded Graf will unveil their latest creation, Bodyland. The dynamic duo created Bodyland as a co-production with DanseHallerne in Copenhagen. Later on, Yasmeen Godder and Itzik Giuli will show their trio See Her Change.

On Friday morning, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will vie for a chance to tour with Undivided Void. The rest of the day is dedicated to independent choreographers such as Hillel Kogan, Talia Beck, Anat Gregorio, Maya Levi and Hanan Anando Mars.

Saturday’s program will bring companies such as the Jerusalem Ballet, Kamea Dance Company and Rina Shenfeld Dance Theater to the stage. Also presenting work on Saturday are Michal Herman with Plan B, Osnat Kelner with Polly, and the Crackers and Ido Tadmor with Engage and Rust.

The international guests will close their viewing journey with the new and improved Israel Ballet’s Our Days.

In addition to all these performances, a number of productions that did not win a spot in the official program will be shown in one of the Suzanne Dellal Center’s studios. Information about these performances will be available at the center during the festival.

International Exposure will take place December 4 to 8. For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.

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